Welcome to Ham Radio's Daily Satirical Newsletter since 1990

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WEDNESDAY EDITION: New rules in Switzerland if you happen to be in the area....I have been getting email that I should listen in to 3844, so give it a whirl...Louisiana has their shit together....This is where I go in the winter...A promising vaccine....

Jon...

I recall you mentioning that Ray NR1R had picked up the RSP-dx for use as a hambands receiver.  I have one of the original RSP-1s that I use on field trips to look at RF around sites.  The company now has a pretty competent spectrum analyser  (note that it's a Brit outfit and they spell analyzer differently) software download free of charge.  For little money, we now have a usable analyz(s)er in the shack.  I use mine for chasing RFI nasties.

Spectrum Analyser -SDRplay

73 de Norm W1ITT

The Space Weather Woman

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov WX6SWW

Radio hams active in aftermath of Cyclone Amphan

The New Indian Express reports that as communications failed post-Amphan, a ham radio club tuned in to save the day

For two days after Cyclone Amphan tore through the state, Ramkrishna Kar, a resident of Barasat town in North 24 Parganas district, had no news of his family in Bagbazar area of Sagar Island in South 24 Parganas district.

Kar, who lives in Barasat for work-related reasons, had no idea how his parents, wife and son were doing since Sagar Island, which bore the brunt of the storm, got completely cut off from the rest of the state.

With electricity, internet and mobile networks down, Kar got in touch with the ham radio operators at the West Bengal Radio Club (Amateur Club). The club dispatched one of its members, Dibas Mondol, to contact Kar’s family.

Mondol cycled through the desolate landscape to reach Kar’s home. Then, he shot their video message, and transmitted it using the slow scan television (SSTV) method, which is a way of sending video [images] over a voice bandwidth.

Read the full story at
https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/as-communications-failed-post-amphan-ham-radio-club-tuned-in-to-save-the-day-6428007/

Is the South Atlantic Anomaly splitting in two?

Earth's magnetic field has a weak spot: The South Atlantic Anomaly, where space radiation comes closer than usual to our planet's surface.

New data from Europe's Swarm spacecraft shows that the Anomaly might be splitting in two, creating a new weak spot near Africa in addition to the original over South America.

Get the full story at Spaceweather.com

Mysterious transmitter in the woods

In this video Lewis M3HHY looks at a mysterious radio transmitter hidden in the woods

Watch the video

 

TUESDAY EDITION: I am still waiting for the sun to burn off the overcast here on the rock, it sure would be nice to see the sun a few days in a row....Good story about a ten year old ham.....Hams being hams...

Would-be radio amateur living in camper van during pandemic

Business Insider reports on Kristin Hanes who with her partner Tom (studying for his ham radio licence) is living and traveling in a 1994 Chevy Astro van during California's stay-at-home order

Hanes is editor-in-chief of 'The Wayward Home' and since 2016 she and Tom have been living in a sailboat. They started traveling in the Chevy Astro van even before the statewide stay-at-home order went into effect on March 19. They wanted to steer clear of populated areas after learning of how the virus was already spreading.

“It is kind of scary when you’re living in a van to have a shelter-in-place order,” Hanes told Business Insider.

Tom usually works as an electrical contractor in San Francisco, but his work is paused in light of the pandemic. He’s studying to become a licensed ham radio operator for the time being.

Read the full story at
https://www.businessinsider.sg/what-its-like-california-couple-sheltering-in-place-van-2020-5

Radio amateur and friend missing in Victoria

Radio amateur Russell Hill, 74, and family friend Carol Clay, 73, were last reported being seen on March 20

On May 23 ,the Sydney Morning Herald reported:

Carol Clay, 73, and family friend Russell Hill, 74, have not been seen since they embarked on a camping trip to Wonnangatta Valley, about 250 kilometres north-east of Melbourne, on March 19.

Mr Hill, an amateur radio enthusiast, contacted one of his friends on March 20, telling him that he was setting up camp, but could not talk for long as it was getting dark.


Source: https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/missing-persons-squad-combs-bushland-in-victoria-s-high-country-20200523-p54vsi.html

On May 25, 7 News reported:

Scott McDonald, an avid camper himself, claims he saw the pair camping at Pikes Flat, about a month before they went missing.

The 74- and 73-year-old went missing from the Wonnangatta area on March 20.

McDonald said the two friends introduced themselves to him after he set up camp next to them, adding he chatted to Hill, but not so much to Clay.

“Russell had some wires strung up in the tree and we were asking him what it was but he was using the ham radio,” he said.


Source: https://7news.com.au/news/vic/missing-victorian-campers-russell-hill-and-carol-clay-seen-camping-together-month-before-disappearance-c-1057655

Electrostatic Field Mill Voltmeter Project

A field mill is a specialized instrument used for measuring the strength of electric fields in the atmosphere, one of the key parameters of atmospheric electricity. They are used in the launch criteria for rockets bound for orbit, as well as the now-retired Space Shuttle, to avoid lightning strikes. They are also used in outdoor laboratories for lightning protection equipment to determine favorable experiment conditions[1], or simply to measure the atmospheric electric field away from thunderstorms.

The "mill" is a typical rotating shutter design in the instrument. It can be deployed airborne and flown through anvil head clouds to make measurements.

Take and tour of an interesting homemade piece of electrical test gear.

We'll take it apart and explore the inner workings, and cover the theory of operation in detail.

http://www.precisionstrobe.com/jc/fieldmill/fieldmill.html

Yesterday, At Middlesex GWOT Veterans monument, in Pepperell, MA honoring those veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars post 911. They placed 7008 flags around this year. wb1abc photo

MEMORIAL DAY EDITION: My friend Steve- K1PEK fell eight feet and landed on a concrete floor and broke his hip yesterday. He will be getting a hip replacement bolted in on Memorial Day at Lahey Hospital in MA, pay the extra money and get the optional grease fittings installed buddy....

W1FCK Gary passed due to Covid complications.

https://www.brooksidechapelfh.com/obituary/gary-welch

He's the Kendecomm/ACS owner and technician for those blue box repeaters:

tnx Kriss- GJU

North Woods Law shooting an episode across the street from my driveway yesterday..Joe- K1JEK

I hired a diver to check out my mooring Saturday morning, electrolysis eats up the chain. Cheap insurance.....This should be an interesting weekend around here on the island, beaches are closed to just residents and the boat ramp is closed and only available by appointment online. I wonder how many fistfights will occur from people driving hours to beach/swim or go boating and get thwarted...Cool laser takedown of drone....Today's dumbass in Georgia....Wearing a mask does not go against your constitutional rights...Another dumbass, this time in Alabama..

What's the Difference Between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?

On both Memorial Day and Veterans Day, it's customary to spend time remembering and honoring the countless veterans who have served the United States throughout the country's history. However, there is a distinction between the two holidays:

  • Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. In other words, the purpose of Memorial Day is to memorialize the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  We spend time remembering those who lost their lives and could not come home, reflecting on their service and why we have the luxury and freedom that we enjoy today. We might consider how we can support and safeguard their grieving families and loved ones who are left behind.
     
  • Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL who served-in wartime or peacetime-regardless of whether they died or survived. Veterans Day is always observed officially on November 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls. 

Foundations of Amateur Radio

The antenna and coax you use matter

During the week I climbed on my roof and installed a base antenna for the 2m and 70cm band. The antenna is a Diamond X-300N. It's 3 meters tall, has a gain of 6.5 dB on 2m and 9 dB on 70cm. I've owned it for just under eight years and this week I finally took it out of the box and installed it.
I know, I know, in my defence, you shouldn't rush these things.

Truth is, until this week I really didn't have a realistic way of installing it. Several factors needed to come together. Some of them trivial, others less so. In the end, the antenna is now installed on my roof, connected via coax through my roof to my radio.

Now before we get all excited about what that means, let's compare my previous outdoor setting to the current one.

Today I'm using LMR-400 coax, 30 meters of it. Previously I used RG-58, but only 20 meters of it.

From a coax perspective, even though I increased the length by 30%, my loss actually went down, on 70cm it went down by over 4 dB. If you recall, 3 dB loss is the same as losing half your signal, so before my 5 Watts even got to the antenna, I'd already lost more than half of it using RG-58.

I will mention right now that the numbers I'm giving here are purposefully not exact. There's no point. Your situation and mine are not the same, and my two installations are barely equivalent, so actual numbers don't help you.

The point I'm making is that the type of coax you use to feed your antenna can make a massive difference. In my case that difference means that half of my 5 Watts never even made it to the antenna.

In addition to this the two antennas are different. Not by much, but enough to make a difference. As icing on the cake the new antenna is longer by a third, so my new antenna has a better horizon, it's higher off the ground, even if it's installed at a similar height.

You might recall that loss and gain are dependent on frequency, so any calculation needs to be done for each band you're going to use. In my case I had to do this twice, once for the 2m band and once for the 70cm band.

I should also mention that depending on the SWR of your antenna, the losses also change, but let's not go there today.

If you want to actually figure out what this means for your station, the calculation goes a little like this.

Take the power output from your radio, subtract the coax loss and add the antenna gain. The end result is a number that represents the gain - or loss - from the entire system. If coax loss and antenna gain are the same, you're not losing anything, but you're also not gaining anything.

The reward for the aches and pains from climbing on and in my roof are represented by the fact that now my 5 Watt signal on 2m effectively became 10 Watts. On 70cm it became 13 Watts.

With the added height and gain in addition to being able to hit all the local repeaters, I can now hear the local beacon and I've successfully decoded the JT4 and JT65 messages that the beacon spits out.

It's only been a week, but it's already made a massive difference.

No doubt my on-air experience will also benefit from this adventure.

Unfortunately, to do this for yourself is not quite as simple as giving you a link and punching in the numbers. I won't make any promises I cannot keep, but I am looking into it.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

New product HAMKit VMAC ESP32

The new HAMKit VMAC ESP32 product, has just been released.

This is a small but powerful board, driven by an ESP32, which provides a very flexible Audio and Video Switching Matrix, with on-board DTMF Decoder, OSD Graphics, Video Signal Detectors and Synchronous Bucks.

The HAMKit VMAC ESP32 is easily software controlled from the on-board ESP32 WROOM 32D. Software can be easily developed such as using the Arduino IDE, Visual Studio Code and Platform IO IDE, Espressif IDF or Espressif ESP RainMaker. Home Automation via MQTT a great opportunity too for the ATV station or remote ATV/DATV repeater control.

Features: Flexible Audio/Video Matrix, ESP32 (with Wifi and BT), MQTT Home Automation Capable, OSD (On Screen Display), DTMF Decoder, 5 x Video Detectors, 5 x Video Inputs, 5 x Audio Inputs, 5 x Squelch / RX Inputs, DC Input 6-30V (Max32V), 3v3 and 5V PSU, Synchronous 2A Bucks, Matrix Video Output, Matrix Audio Output, PTT Output (FET), Relay Output (NC/NO), UART Programming.

Further details maybe found on our website hamkit.co.uk

Federal Judge Okays Retrieval of Titanic Marconi Wireless Equipment

A US federal judge in Virginia has given permission to retrieve the ill-fated RMS Titanic’s Marconi wireless gear, which transmitted distress calls from the sinking ocean liner during its maiden voyage. Judge Rebecca Beach Smith of the US District Court in Norfolk ruled that the radio gear is historically and culturally important and could soon be lost within the rapidly decaying wreck. The Titanic sank after striking an iceberg some 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland in 1912.

“The Marconi device has significant historical, educational, scientific, and cultural value as the device used to make distress calls while the Titanic was sinking,” Judge Smith wrote in her ruling. She said the company would be permitted “minimally to cut into the wreck” to access the radio room.

David Concannon, a lawyer for R.M.S Titanic Inc., which the court has recognized as the steward of the vessel’s artifacts, said the company would try to avoid cutting into the ship, noting that the radio room may be reachable via a skylight that was already open. More legal wrangling may lie ahead. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) contends that the retrieval expedition is still prohibited under US law and under an international agreement between the US and the UK.

R.M.S Titanic has said the radio transmitter could unlock some of the secrets about a missed warning message and distress calls sent from the ship.

“It tells an important story,” Concannon said. “It tells of the heroism of the operators that saved the lives of 705 people. They worked until water was lapping at their feet.”

In an April court filing, NOAA argued against the salvage effort, saying that any benefit to be realized from cutting into the vessel to recover the Marconi equipment would not be “worth the cost to the resource and not in the public interest.”

RMS Titanic sought permission to carry out what it called a “surgical removal and retrieval” of the Marconi radio equipment. As might be expected, the deteriorating Marconi equipment is in poor shape after more than a century under water. The undersea retrieval would mark the first time an artifact was collected from within the Titanic, which many believe should remain undisturbed as the final resting place of some 1,500 victims of the maritime disaster. The wreck sits on the ocean floor some 2 1/2 miles beneath the surface, and remained undiscovered until 1985. R.M.S. Titanic said it plans to use a manned submarine to reach the wreck and then deploy a remotely controlled sub to retrieve the radio equipment. 

FRIDAY EDITION: 3927 was the pick of the night for background listening last night. It is interesting listening to political views from different parts of the country, especially the southerners and mid western states. We don't have a clue here in New England with the biased liberal media..... The 75 meter band sure doesn't have a lot of open frequencies if you wanted to start a nightly net. I believe I heard the ARRL wants to open up some space for additional phone privileges for the tech license. What a shit show that would be....Pretty quiet on 3910 as of late, missing the old "black sheep" group......Skywarn spotters article....I watch this shit happening all the time down at the harbor...

FT8 used for ham radio Moonbounce (EME) contact

Joe Taylor K1JT reports what is possibly the first FT8 contact via Moonbouce (EME) which took place on Thursday, May 21, 2020 between Paul W2HRO and Peter PA2V

Joe writes:

Paul and Peter used WSJT-X 2.2.0-rc1, a beta-release candidate for version 2.2 of the program WSJT-X.  Both stations have moderate 4-yagi setups on 432.  Conditions today were not particularly good: degradation around 3 dB, and the Sun only 20 degrees from the Moon.

For terrestrial use the FT8 decoder searches over the range -2.5 to +2.4s for clock offset DT between transmitting and receiving stations. 
When "Decode after EME delay" is checked on the WSJT-X "Settings" screen, the accessible DT range becomes -0.5 to +4.4 s.  Just right for EME.

FT8 uses 8-GFSK modulation with tones separated by 6.25 Hz.  At the time of this QSO the expected Doppler spread on the W2HRO - PA2V EME path was 8 Hz, which causes some additional loss of sensitivity.  Nevertheless, as you'll see in screen shots posted here, copy was solid in both directions:

https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/W2HRO_PA2V_432_EME_1.jpg
https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/W2HRO_PA2V_432_EME_2.jpg

Why might you want to use FT8 instead of "Old Reliable JT65" for EME QSOs?  FT8 is about 4 dB less sensitive than JT65, but with 15-second T/R sequences it's four times faster and it doesn't use Deep Search.

When I was active in EME contests on 144 MHz, I was always frustrated that even with reasonably strong (for EME) signals, one's maximum JT65 QSO rate is about 12 per hour.  With FT8 you can do 40 per hour, as long as workable stations are available.

What about FT8 EME on 1296 MHz?  It might sometimes work, but Doppler spread will probably make standard FT8 a problem.  But if there were sufficient interest, we could make an "FT8B" or "FT8C" with wider tone spacing.

Please try FT8 for EME on any of the bands 144, 432, and 1296 MHz, and let us know your results.

73, Joe, K1JT

In 'Memory of Dayton Hamvention 2020' net

Astronomy Meets Amateur Radio will be conducting it’s “In Memory Of Dayton 2020” net on Saturday May 23 5:00 PM. EDT/2:00 PM PDT. http://www.n4mqu.com/amar/
The net will be on TGIF talk group 440, AllStar 42235 and Echolink node 42704.

This group is dedicated to the pursuit of two objectives:

(1) The training, education, and dissemination of the benefits, fun, excitement and value of Amateur Radio.

(2) The training, education, and dissemination of the art and excitement of astronomy.

The group was featured on a story in Amateur Radio Newsline.

Details about the new group can be found at http://www.n4mqu.com/amar/

Ham radio operators still transmitting

CHAT News reports on amateur radio in the city of Medicine Hat in southeast Alberta

The news report says:

The radio waves were the home for chatrooms for most of the 20th century and long before the advent of the internet. And despite the world relying more and more on the World Wide Web, amateur radio operators continue to talk the talk in the city.

Ralph Garnett VA6RHG, chair of the Medicine Hat Amateur Radio Club, says there are still about 300 licenced operators in the city but likely only a few dozen who are active.

But while ham radio is largely considered a hobby which allows people to communicate offline across the planet, it’s the ability to utilize the older technology in emergencies which also allows it to continue.

Watch the video and read the full story at
https://chatnewstoday.ca/2020/05/19/ham-radio-operators-still-transmitting/

DX News from the ARRL

May 22, 2020

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites. Thanks to all.

ZAMBIA, 9J. Mario, IZ3KVD is QRV as 9J2MYT until the end of May.
Activity has been on 20, 17, 15 and 10 meter SSB. QSL via IZ3KVD direct only.

CHINA, BI4. Members of the ZhangJiaGang Amateur Radio Association will be active as BI4WXD during the CQWW WPX CW Contest as a Multi-2/High-Power entry. QSL via BI4SCC.

AUSTRIA, OE30. Hannes, OE1SGU is QRV as OE30MAGICBAND until June 30. Activity is to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the allocation of the 6 meter band (50-52 MHz) to Austrian amateurs. Activity will be mainly on 6 meters using CW, SSB and the digital modes. QSL via LoTW and eQSL.

GUATEMALA, TG. Enrique, YS1RM is active as TG9/YS1RM. His length of his stay is unknown. Activity is on various HF bands and modes.
QSL via YS1RM, direct, LoTW or eQSL.

FRANCE, TM0. Members of the Ondes et Micro-Informatique Radio Club are active as TM0BEE until May 24. Activity is to celebrate United Nations World Bee Day. Operations will be on 80 to 6 meters using CW, SSB, FT8/FT4 and PSK. QSL via F6KUQ, via the Bureau or eQSL.

CANARY ISLANDS, EA8. Members of the Radio Club Laurilsiva (EA8RKL) from Gran Canaria (AF-004) celebrate the Day of the Canary Islands on the air from May 24 to 31 with the call sign EH8DDC. QSL via ClubLog, eQSL.

SWITZERLAND, HB9. The SOTA Group Switzerland (HB9SOTA) celebrates its 15th anniversary with special event call sign HB15SOTA until May 9, 2021. QSL via HB9DPR, bureau.

COLOMBIA, HK. Members of the Liga Colombiana de Radioaficionados (LCRA, HK3LR) support the current pandemic restrictions with the call sign 5JSTAYHOME. QSL via HK3LR.

ITALY, I. 4U9STAYHOME operates from the UN Global Service Center's Amateur Radio Club (4U1GSC) until June 15. QSL via 9A2AA (d/B).

LITHUANIA, LY. LY56BC remains active until the end of May, commemorating the 56th Baltic Contest.

RUSSIA, RA. Special event stations R115MS, RM35MS and UE35MS celebrate the 115th birthday of Mikhail Sholokhov, recipient of the 1965 Nobel Prize for Literature, until June 24. QSL via ClubLog OQRS.

POLAND, SP. 3Z100KW will be QRV until May 31, celebrating the 100th birthday of Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) from his birthplace of Wadowice. QSL to SP9ZKN direct or via the bureau or ClubLog.

INDIA, VU. Subbu, VU2NSL operates the COVID-19 special event call sign AT9SS until July 28. QSL via LoTW or VU2NSL direct.

ROMANIA, YO. YO1STAYHOME and YO19STAYHOME are QRV until September 15.

SOUTH AFRICA, ZS. Special event station ZS1820S celebrates the arrival of the first British settlers at the South African Cape 200 years ago. They are QRV throughout 2020. QSL via ZS2EC (d/B), LoTW and ClubLog.

GEORGIA, 4L. Op Vaho, 4L8A will be active during the CQWW WPX CW Contest as a Single-Op/Single-Band 20 meter entry. QSL via M0OXO, OQRS or LoTW.

DENMARK, 5Q6. Henning, OZ2I/OZ1BI will be QRV as 5Q6EE from the EDR HQ station in Odense during the CQWW WPX CW Contest as a Single-Op/Low-Power entry. QSL via OZ2I, LoTW, eQSL or ClubLog's OQRS.

UNITED STATES, K. Allan, KV4T and his wife Bridget, KS4YT will be QRV on Grand Isle from May 22 to 25, signing home calls /p. They will be on 80, 40, 30 and 20 meters using SSB, CW, FT4 and FT8. QSL via home calls direct, LoTW and eQSL.

ENGLAND, G. David, G4YVM will be active as GB4DLS until June 2 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the pivotal role played by the Dunkirk Little Ships during Operation Dynamo, May 26 to June 4, 1940. He will operate mainly CW, but with some SSB as well. QSL via G4YVM.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO
The Baltic Contest, QRP ARCI Hootowl Sprint and QCX Challenge are on tap for this holiday weekend. The SKCC Sprint is May 27. The RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship is on May 28. The PODXS 070 Club 3-Day Weekend Contest is May 29.

Please see May 2020 QST, page 69 and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details

 

THURSDAY EDITION: Good morning, looks like a stretch of sunny and warm weather here on the rock. Still too early to think about getting the boat ready for the mooring....I was bored and listened around 75 last night. 3919 is the same old thing, Bobby talks all night. 3843 was quiet because  3844 was occupied by some rather crude and loud ops. Looks like the 3843 group is getting crowded out!....What is in the water down in Florida?...What could go wrong with opening up too soon?....

IC-705 QRP SDR transceiver update

Icom have announced details about the launch of the IC-705 QRP SDR ultra-portable transceiver.

Available to the Japanese HAM community from the middle of June 2020, deliveries are planned to the rest of the world shortly afterwards.

We here at Icom UK are very excited about getting our first 705's very soon.

This new "go anywhere" HF/VHF/UHF is the radio that everyone has been talking about since its announcement at the 2019 JA fair in Tokyo.

After being seen at the Show in Japan, the Global Ham community has been anticipating its arrival with much demand.

Including its SDR platform, internal battery, GPS, Bluetooth and D-STAR, in a compact and lightweight body, the Icom IC-705 uses the same 4.3″ colour touch screen display as the IC-7300 and IC-9700 and features a real-time spectrum scope and waterfall display.

We expect the UK version of the IC-705 to arrive soon after the Japan launch and anticipate a price of around £1299.99 including VAT (subject to confirmation). We encourage you to  sign up to our newsletter  or  our social media channels   for news updates regarding this model.

For more details about the IC-705 including a video introduction to this product, visit the  IC-705 QRP SDR transceiver Product Page .

As you may expect, the demand for this product is very high when it does hit the UK. So If you want to be one of the first customers to get your hands on this model, contact your Amateur Radio dealer today.

Islands On The Air Users May Obtain Award Credits via Logbook of The World

Islands On The Air (IOTA) users may now obtain contact credits via ARRL’s Logbook of The World (LoTW). A similar arrangement is already in place with Club Log.

“Islands On The Air (IOTA) Ltd. is delighted to announce the implementation of the ARRL application which allows the use of QSO-matching via LoTW,” IOTA’s Roger Balister, G3KMA, said. “We wish to thank ARRL for having made their application available.”

Balister said an initial list of operations extending from the arrangement with LoTW has been added to the IOTA database, and these will become available for contact-matching starting on May 21. “We are sure that the IOTA community will welcome this development for which they have long been pressing,” Balister added.

ARRL Director of Operations Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, points out that LoTW has, for years, allowed award sponsors access to a utility that lets them verify contacts in LoTW. “The IOTA folks have begun using this utility, but still check the QSOs against known IOTA operations,” he explained, noting that applicants cannot apply for IOTA awards through LoTW.

To claim a new island group from matched LoTW contacts, users would click on “Retrieve QSOs from LoTW” to retrieve matching records. Within 30 minutes, IOTA users will receive an email listing the matches added to a list of pending contacts.

Use the “Submit HF application” or “Submit VHF application” utilities to go through the steps necessary to ensure that your application is complete before submitting it. Once IOTA has accepted the LoTW-matched contacts and any others in an application supported by QSL cards, IOTA will credit the contacts to your IOTA Award account and issue any appropriate awards or certificates.

Tony Gonzalez, EA5RM, and Ned Stearns, AA7A, inducted to CQ DX Hall of Fame

CQ magazine today announced the induction of the two newest members of the CQ DX Hall of Fame, which honors those DXers who not only excel in personal performance but who also "give back" to the hobby in outstanding ways. CQ DX Editor Bob Schenck, N2OO, made a virtual presentation on the Ham Nation podcast on May 20.

The 2020 inductees to the CQ DX Hall of Fame are:

Tony Gonzalez, EA5RM - has been an active DXpeditioner for 20 years, often organizing and leading teams to operate from difficult and challenging locations. Tony and his teams have also helped establish or re-establish amateur radio activities in several countries, including Rwanda (where it had been banned for a decade due to civil war) and the newly-independent country of South Sudan.

In addition, Tony has made 10 trips to Bolivia to establish and maintain HF communication links between medical facilities and remote villages in the Amazon rain forest, and has operated as CP1XRM during his free time. Tony's work in South America earned him the ARRL International Humanitarian Award in 2015.

Edward "Ned" Stearns, AA7A - is an accomplished DXer, DXpeditioner (he's been on 32 of them and led 8) and technical innovator. He introduced the use of switchable vertical dipole array antennas on island DXpeditions and designed "dual-band discone" antennas for use with the Northern California DX Foundation's worldwide beacon network. Ned also worked with 2019 DX Hall of Fame inductee Joe Taylor, K1JT, on developing the "Fox/Hound" mode for FT8 used by DXpeditions.

Ned also maintains two remote stations in Arizona, has made presentations at many technical conferences and has served in a variety of leadership roles in the hobby. On the air, he is at the Top of the Honor Roll for DXCC Phone and Mixed, was the first recipient of 11-band DXCC and has worked over 160 countries via EME (Earth-Moon-Earth).

This year's induction ceremony was scheduled to be conducted online on Wednesday, May 20, on the Ham Nation podcast (<https://twit.tv/shows/ham-nation>).

The CQ DX Hall of Fame was established in 1967 to recognize those amateurs who have made major contributions to DXing and DXpeditioning. This is the 54th annual induction, and the first to be conducted online.

Malawi operation postponed

Pista, HA5AO, who was expected to be active as 7Q7AO from Malawi during the second half of September/early October 2020, has postponed his operation.

He states:
"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions I have to postpone my planned operation from Malawi. New date will be announced."

For updates, watch his Web site at: https://www.ha5ao.com/index.php/news

Twelve UAE NMT stations on the air

Members of the Emirates Amateur Radio Society (EARS) will activate twelve stations with suffix NMT (National Medical Taskforce) during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

This is recognition of the efforts of all medical teams and cadres, and all health workers in the country, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, administrators and technicians, who work around the clock, in light of the conditions and challenges that the world is currently experiencing due to the outbreak. Length of their activity is not known at this time.

Look for the following stations:
A60NMT/1 - Op A61M; QSL via A61BK
A60NMT/2 - Op A61Q; QSL via EA7FTR
A60NMT/3 - Op A61NN; QSL via A61NN
A60NMT/4 - Op A61FK; QSL via A61BK
A60NMT/5 - Op A61DD; QSL via A92AA
A60NMT/6 - Op A61QQ; QSL via A61BK
A60NMT/7 - Op A61FJ; QSL via direct
A60NMT/8 - Op A61RJ; QSL via direct
A60NMT/9 - Op A61HA; QSL via A61BK
A60NMT/10 - Op A61GC; QSL via direct
A60NMT/11 - Op A61AY; QSL via direct
A60NMT/12 - Op A61BK; QSL via A61BK

WEDNESDAY EDITION: America only gets better all the time. My new refrigerator was delivered yesterday and I get to enjoy it for about 8 years, the average lifespan of a new refrigerator! I purchased the 5 year warranty and feel like I just bought a new automobile....fleeced. It is called planned obsolescence....remember when a refrigerator lasted for 20 years, you replaced it because you got sick of looking at it. I made an attempt to buy a small freezer so I could hoard a little meat and ice cream, no such thing available until late summer. If you are looking for a bicycle, good luck, sold out everywhere....and still no damn hand sanitizer on the shelves at Market Basket. About the only thing in stock is ham radio stuff at HRO!

Email today:

Bob Mitchell, W1NH/W1SWX is currently
in Elliot Hospital, Room 583, Bed 1, One Elliot Way, Manchester, NH 03103.
I just had a nice chat with Bob and I am sure he would like to hear from
some of his old 160M friends.  You can reach him at 603-669-5300 or via the
address above.

73,
Dennis, K2SX/ex W1DYE

Check out the Job requirements....made me chuckle ...

ARRL Invites Applications for Awards and Programs Assistant

ARRL is inviting applications to fill the position of Awards and Programs Assistant at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. This is a full-time, non-exempt opening in the Radiosport and Field Services Department. The pay range is from $16.08 to 19.30 per hour.

The Awards and Programs Assistant will help with all Radiosport and Field Services Department activities, with an initial priority on Logbook of The World (LoTW) support. Other duties may involve supporting DXCC and other awards programs, W1AW station operations, and contest program and field service support. This individual would also handle special projects that may be assigned and represent ARRL in public forums worldwide.

The successful candidate will possess a well-rounded knowledge of amateur radio, an Amateur Extra-class license, and 2 years of operating experience; the ability to quickly understand and explain software functionality, and proficiency in keyboarding and data entry. This individual should have attained DXCC, regularly submit contest logs to sponsors, use LoTW, and be able to resolve issues efficiently

A bachelor’s degree is preferred. The ideal candidate will have excellent interpersonal, telephone, and listening skills and be proficient in public presentations. Some overnight travel may be required.

To apply, submit a cover letter and resume via mail, email, or fax to ARRL, c/o Monique Levesque, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111 (fax 860-594 -0298). For complete position information, visit ARRL Employment Opportunities and scroll down to “Awards and Programs Assistant.”

ARRL is an equal opportunity employer. 

Introduction to the AMSAT GOLF program

AMSAT is developing a satellite program that should see amateur transponders in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and eventually High Earth Orbit (HEO) 

GOLF is an acronym for Greater Orbit, Larger Footprint

The goal of the GOLF program is to work by steps through a series of increasingly capable spacecraft to learn skills and systems for which we do not yet have any low-risk experience.  Among these are active attitude control, deployable/steerable solar panels, radiation tolerance for Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) components in higher orbits, and propulsion.

The first step is to be one or more Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites similar to the existing AO-91 and AO-92, but with technologies needed for higher orbits.  With proven technologies, an interim high LEO or Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite would follow on. 

The eventual goal is a High Earth Orbit (HEO) similar to AO-10, AO-13, and AO-40, but at a currently affordable cost combined with significantly enhanced capabilities which in turn will allow the use of much less complex ground stations.

Read the AMSAT GOLF article at
https://www.amsat.org/greater-orbit-larger-footprint-an-introduction-to-the-amsat-golf-program/

Sir Martin Sweeting G3YJO - Early years and favourite space missions

Radio amateur Sir Martin Sweeting G3YJO has recorded a series of home videos from Coronavirus lockdown to record answers to the questions he is most frequently asked

In this episode he talks about his inspiration for pioneering the original SmallSats revolution and reveals two of his favourite SSTL missions.

Watch Sir Martin Sweeting - early years & favourite missions


What is Amateur Radio?
http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Free UK amateur radio online training courses and FAQ that describes how to apply to take the Foundation exam online from your own home
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2020/april/online-training-for-amateur-radio.htm

First British settlers in South Africa

The special event station ZS1820S celebrates the arrival of the first British settlers at the South African Cape 200 years ago.

QRV throughout 2020.

QSL via ZS2EC (d/B), LoTW, ClubLog.

http://zs2pe.co.za/
https://www.1820settlers.com/

Czech Republic

On May 19 in 1930, the first amateur radio licenses were issued in
Czechoslovakia.

The following special event stations commemorate this 90th anniversary: OL901AA, OL901AB, OL902AC, OL901AF, OL902AG, and OL901AH.

In addition, OL90SKEC, OL90KVAC, OL90CAV, OL90ROH, OL90SVAZARM, and OL90CRK mark past and present amateur radio organisations in the Czech Republic. All QRV until May 31. An award is available as well.

QSL via bureau, LoTW, eQSL. For more information see:
https://ok90.hamqth.com/

TUESDAY EDITION: Good Day!....Rick-KM1G promised a review of his new air fryer but Norm beat him to the punch.....Everything is going just fine down in Florida...Not so fast, I think I will stay put....

Email today:

Jon...

Being too impatient to wait for the As The World Turns brain trust to reveal its findings, I bought a Ninja 4 qt air fryer, about $110 shipped on Ebay.  Not having my preferred russet taters for french fries, I used two yellow taters ( for two of us) and a dripping tablespoon of olive oil, some salt and garlic powder and went to town.  I turned and flipped the fries in the basket twice so they'd be evenly cooked, hitting the pause button, and had  them extra crispy in a bit over 25 minutes.  Verdict is they are very good and the small quantity of oil won't congeal my arteries as fast as the immersion fryer.  There's a recipe in the quick-start booklet for some breaded fried cod filets that shows a bit over 20 minutes including prep time,  I'll see about finding some dead fish (cod, haddock, salmon) and give that a try.  Cleanup is much easier than the deep fryer.  Our verdict is that the unit is a keeper.

73 de Norm W1ITT

Australia moves closer to getting WRC-15 60m (5 MHz) band

WIA reports the ACMA has released a public consultation titled Possible use of the 5351.5–5366.5 kHz band by the amateur service  

Recently released on the ACMA website for public comment, the ACMA is currently seeking feedback on amateur access to the 5 MHz band in Australia. This is excellent news from our friends at ACMA given the amount of hams globally who will be chasing Australia for confirmation on 60m but with 15W EIRP, the DX will be challenging.

It is also an excellent band choice for general low power experimentation with even new digital modes like WSPR, FT8 etc and for inter continental communications around Australia and our close neighbours when 80m and 40m may be unsuitable that 60m is the better solution, especially for outback and remote emergency communications.

Read the WIA story Is 60m Within Our Grasp?
https://www.wia.org.au/newsevents/news/2020/20200514-1/index.php

The True Story Of The Midland Terminal Ghost Train by Vern Thompson W6ZJU

It was late in the afternoon a year after the last run of the Midland Terminal Railroad (1950), My boss at Radio Station KRDO, Colorado Springs, took me aside and asked if I would be available that night for a special project such as running a ghost train through Manitou Springs. I of course said yes, Due to past experience his special projects were all very interesting and fun. The rails had been removed at that time.

He explained that he had borrowed a powerful PA system with two large horn speakers and a turntable on top of the amplifier that operated 6 volts DC. Vehicles had 6-volt systems at that time. His plan was to go to the Midland roadbed through a couple tunnels on the southwest side of Manitou and make believe the train was coming down the Ute pass. He needed my "48 Plymouth” business coupe with the giant trunk to transport the speakers. In his Studebaker we put the amplifier with the turntable and an auxiliary input, a RCA cartridge wire recorder (no tape recorders yet) and necessary cabling for power and speakers.

We had a cartridge with the starting up and building up steam and the pumps starting and releasing steam. The wire recorder continues with engine apply power to the drive wheels and slowly picking up speed as it left the Cripple Creek station and continue moving into the mountains north of Cripple Creek with the choo chooing and with rumbling train sounds. This was actual sound recorded in the engine, as the last train had left the station a year earlier.

We had acetate disks with various train sounds mostly whistles divided in to separate cuts so they could be selected as appropriate. Leaving the station, a road crossing, etc. and the last cut was the final releasing of the steam and the engine's life ended in Colorado City.

We started for Manitou Springs, Joe Rohrer, the station owner, said on our station two-way 26 Mc radio that we could probably make it to Cripple Creek by midnight. "What do you thinks about extending our plan and start at the beginning instead of just Manitou Springs." Of course that was ok with me so off were to the Cripple Creek station (which was not long there).

Arriving at the station site, which overlooked the town, we set up, opening the Plymouth's big trunk and aimed the speakers toward town and started the wire recording.

After a while a car drove up to us and it was the constable investigating. He thought it was the greatest thing going. He said the bars were loaded on that anniversary of the last run of the Midland. Many of the patrons of the bars were also loaded. Some even went up to the constable and volunteered to be taken to jail as they were hearing things such as a train and must be drunk. The track had been removed to the station area.

Joe was really flipping and asked if the constable would give him a ride to town so he could observe the excitement. I had to back the wire recorder up a couple time to keep the proper sound for the engine just staying put. Joe was even more excited when he saw the reaction to what they were hearing.

The whistle came from the wire and the train began leaving the station and choo chooing began. We found that if we varied the base and treble on the amplified it made it sound like the train was moving through the mountain and of course reducing the volume until the train was gone.

We packed up and left. There was a very small community a short distance down the road so we went over to the tracks and connected up and had the train fade in, blow the whistle, and fade out.

We drove down the pass to Manitou Springs turned up a road that crossed the track bed and tuned on to the bed toward the pass. After going through a couple of short tunnels (these track had also been removed) setup with the speakers aimed at the pass and ran the train coming down Ute Pass, a few whistle blasts, slowly turning it louder and messing with the tone controls for the fading sound and the train come down the pass. Both of us wanted to hear what it sounded like so we took the speakers out of the truck and Joe drove down into town and cruised around. Then I took my turn. It sounded real.

Finally it came to an end with releasing all the steam. As Colorado City is a short distance east of Manitou we aimed the speakers toward the east.

Finally all was quiet. We packed up and headed home. As we leaving the train bed and about to enter the road here comes a car speeding up the road. He saw us. It was the policeman on duty. [An aside on this. At night the police in Manitou Springs normally parked at a Y intersection in the middle of town next to a pay phone. The pay phone was listed as the nighttime number for the police department.] He stopped and backed up to let us pass and followed us out of town. When the train was running and Joe and I made our separate listening tours of the town we both passed him at his phone station and I am sure he saw my car go by both ways twice with different drivers. He was standing outside his car listening when I passed.

The next morning there was a story about the ghost train in the Denver's Rocky Mountain News.

A note on the rails that we rode on.

The rails between Colorado City and Cripple Creek were standard gauge so it was possible to drive a car, with the correct wheel spacing such as my Plymouth or Joe's Studebaker, the entire length of the track before portions were removed. Before starting out on a rail trip of any length I would want to load two railroad ties in the trunk just in case I ran off the rails. They would be, and were, used to lie along side of the tracks to drive back on them. The tire pressure needed to be lowered to about 15 to 20 pounds, which made the tires stay on the track. No steering was needed, just a steadying of the steering wheel so it would not tend to oscillate. If you wanted to go the direction a switch was not set for you would use the steering wheel to make it go the way you want to go.

In the main line switch yard in Colorado Springs switch yard I came off the track at a switch with full tire pressure and had a tire wedged between the tracks of the switch. That was a job for the jack and letting air out of the tire to get it free. Glad I had a couple guys with me to get it back on the tracks and get out of there never to return. That was rather scary as we did not know if we were on the main line track.

Another time, after a fraternity meeting we used to play ‘ditch'em’ on the way to a diner north of town. On the road going north the main line from Denver crossed the road at about 45 degrees and the other guys were in hot pursuit. My tires were at low pressure I steered on to the tracks going north. As the tracks were curving to the north I could not see the tracks in the distance but I could see a light flashing on the trees and structures on the left. The engines had a rotating headlamp to give a flashing effect. The rides on the main line tracks were very smooth when I had occasion to use them. But I quickly got off at the next street and whizzz, the regular scheduled train passed by.

As a sidelight to that, the next day at the radio station they knew all about my close call. It so happen that a gal that worked at the station lived in a house that backed up to the track where this took place. She had just driven up behind the house and heard the train coming so she stayed in her car to avoid the dust the train would throw up as it passes. While waiting for the train and watching for it she me drive by on the main line just a short time before the train passed.

Not long after the last run of the Midland train the Boss, his wife, and an announcer and his wife drove up to Cripple Creek for dinner and some beverages. As they were leaving Joe decide to take the tracks home. This would have been entirely possible but in their state it was a bad idea. Not having the best of balance, he came off the track with no ties to get back on. He probably did not reduce the air pressure of the tires. A really bad night but the announcer made it to the station for the 6 am sign on.

MONDAY EDITION: Ham radio to be set up at dams in India....Statistics from Florida are scary....You only had one damn job to do.....

2020 State of the Hobby Survey

Dustin N8RMA reports it's time for the fourth annual survey into the State of Amateur Radio

First and foremost, I hope everyone is staying healthy out there.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has, for better or worse, certainly cause a large amount of change in the world today.

While I was originally hoping to release this survey mid-March, due to the pandemic response I was forced to change this up. I trust many others have had to make similar adjustments, so I hope folks understand.

Last year saw a huge increase in participation and I hope to continue that trend in 2020.

Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey for this year and share with your radioactive peers. You can check out the survey link, along with previous results on my blog!

https://www.radiosoth.org/2020/05/2020-state-of-hobby-survey.html

2020 Contest University

Those who missed DX Engineering's 2020 Contest University (CTU) webinar on May 14th, you can now view it on YouTube.com.

The webinar is a little over 10 hours long and can be viewed at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEEUpsWUtAA

The CTU's course-outline and PDF files used are available at:
https://www.contestuniversity.com/course-outline

IARU-R1 VHF-UHF-Microwave newsletter

Edition 86 of the free IARU Region 1 VHF-UHF-Microwave newsletter is now available for download

The newsletter notes:

In 50 MHz IARU Region 1 is keen to encourage:
• Overriding the current 12 kHz Bandwidth limit
• Wideband modes which can tolerate the variations in 6m propagation perhaps for 32-64 and/or 128-256 kbps
• Review/deletion of multiple #SSTV/Image frequencies (50.51 and 50.55)

Concerning the Galileo GNSS constellation which is now operating in the 23 cm Amateur and Amateur Satellite allocation the UK Microwave Manager Barry G4SJH says:

"the IARU takes a view that the potential for large scale interference to RNSS is overstated but is working with all parties in a good spirit of cooperation."

Download the newsletter from
https://www.iaru-r1.org/2020/vhf-newsletter-86/

Deep Solar Minimum is feared

Forbes magazine reports a deep ‘Solar Minimum’ is feared as 2020 sees record-setting 100-day slump

Jamie Carter writes:

While we on Earth suffer from coronavirus, our star—the Sun—is having a lockdown all of its own. Spaceweather.com reports that already there have been 100 days in 2020 when our Sun has displayed zero sunspots.

That makes 2020 the second consecutive year of a record-setting low number of sunspots

So are we in an eternal sunshine of the spotless kind?

Read the full article at
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiecartereurope/2020/05/12/the-sun-is-asleep-deep-solar-minimum-feared-as-2020-sees-record-setting-100-day-slump/

Wireless Power Transfer: CIS/B/737/CDV rejected

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) International Special Committee on Radio Interference (CISPR) has rejected a proposal by the Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) lobby that would have resulted in pollution of the precious HF RF spectrum

While Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) systems nominally operate on frequencies below 150 kHz they can pollute the entire HF spectrum up to 30 MHz not only ruining people's enjoyment of radio but also potentially disrupting the communications of key services.

A WPT paper notes:

"the business case for WPT systems expects a wide spreading of their usage; in the ideal case, nearly one system per household when mostly electric vehicles will be used in the future."

Such an outcome could result in horrendous interference levels and ruin the HF radio frequency spectrum which is a precious natural resource.

See the WPT paper at
https://fe.um.si/images/jet/JET_november
_2019_FINAL_splet-11-17.pdf

I am listing a 3.7KW 10-80 meter homebrew amplifier for a friend. He is downsizing for a future move and needs to get it to a new home. This is not an amplifier for the appliance operator and is very large and heavy.

"  Single 4-1000A amp, grid driven, 80-10m, built by an astute RF engineer, excellent workmanship, 29" hi rack. I last ran this amp on air 9 years ago, running fine.  I have no reason to think it would not perform the same now.  Tested 3740 kW output with 130 W drive. Complete set up, ready to go, nothing else needed but your rig to drive it. Comes with Bird wattmeter like new condition with 5 kW element, Dow Key relay, 220 VAC variac, an EXTRA 4-1000 tube. 8 KV xmfr (must weigh > 150 #,) 4 Kv supply,   Extra tube socket (new), SB610 Scope, Schematic & notes for tuning and voltage settings. Screen and Filament Voltage both have variacs.  Vacuum Variable tune.

  

NOTE: I CAN NOT demonstrate this because I no longer have an exciter or an antenna. I am in process of moving. The designer and builder is willing to talk to you about it, once a serious buyer is determined. Given that I can not demo it, I have priced it at below what you could get for selling the parts SERIOUS ONLY PLEASE: ****u need to be adequately versed in AMP tech aspects or this AMP is NOT right for you*** (this amp can KILL you), not a plug and play auto tune.

Tnx, email me and give me your call sign, tel # and then we can talk on phone.  Again, serious only. I can give you references of ham business owners who know my reputation.  $ 1595.00 cash FIRM.

*** Potential to run this on AM:  This amp  originally run Class C with 833A’s, plate modulated. If you have modulator capability this amp can be run again on AM.  I have no modulator parts or tubes.

References of business and media owners in this area who know me will be provided if requested. 

  Contact Steve Davis, K1PEK,  Sdavis@DavisRF.com if serious and we can then talk on phone.  Can ship but rather not due to amount of work to correctly package it ($ 100.00 ) and then freight cost (delivery to truck co. and freight cost discounted thru my company. Once I know delivery address I can give you a quote).

WEEKEND EDITION: If you don't live in New England, you don't know what your are missing! Yesterday it was 70+ and sunny with a tad of humidity followed by an early evening squall of cold 50mph gusts, thunder, lightning, and hail. I wake up to sun and 60 with no humidity this morning...could snow tonight!...

The Latest Episode of ARRL Audio News is Now Available

Listen to the new episode of ARRL Audio News on your iOS or Android podcast app, or online at http://www.blubrry.com/arrlaudionews/.

The K7RA Solar Update

No sunspots appeared last week. The previous seven days had only one big sunspot group on one day, with a sunspot number of 35. Over the seven-day period this averaged out to a sunspot number of 5, so average daily sunspot numbers declined from 5 to 0 this week.

Average daily solar flux also declined, by one point from 69.5 to 68.5.

Geomagnetic indicators were quiet, with average daily planetary A index declining from 5.1 to 4.1, and mid-latitude A index from 5 to 4.7.

Spaceweather.com reports that the percentage of days with no sunspots so far in 2020 (76%) is close to 2019 (77%).

Foundations of Amateur Radio

Buying and using pre-loved equipment

The other day I received an email from Colin VK2JCC who mentioned that he was a keen home brewer and he was interested in a discussion about using ex-military gear in amateur radio. If you want to see his beautiful rig, check out Colin's Clansman PRC 320 Radio, does 2 to 30 MHz at 3 or 30 Watts. Look for his callsign and you'll also find a video of him calling CQ.

Colin also shared his efforts for the construction of a Ground Tuning Unit which started a whole different exploration, but I'll leave that for another day.

Back to the topic at hand, ex-military gear in our hobby. My initial thoughts on the subject were predictable: "What on earth do I know about this and do I have anything useful to contribute on the matter?"

It turns out that this isn't something new to me. You might recall that I'm an IT professional in my non-amateur life. In that role you'll likely never see me buying second hand or refurbished gear, unless I installed it myself and was the person responsible for its maintenance.

This same mindset prevails within my hobby. Although I am the owner of several pieces of pre-loved equipment, it arrived either because I knew the previous owner and where they live, or because it arrived unencumbered at my door.

I go to hamfests and look askance at the gear on offer. I'll buy connectors, a tower, but not so much anything in the way of electronics. I asked around and I'm not alone in this. Many of my peers have the same view. Why pay good money for something that has been abused?

It occurred to me, that this mindset is based on the idea that something can go wrong because the equipment has been invisibly damaged. Of course that is possible. However, on reflection, the reality is likely different.

In my professional life I've seen plenty of badly maltreated equipment. I remember being called out to a faulty computer that sat on the ground in the office in a car mechanics workshop. The computer, used for accounting, would on warm days just stop. On opening it up, in 2006, I found a motherboard with a Pentium processor on board. It was untouched from when it had been built in around 1994. The CPU fan was no longer moving and the amount of caked on dust - complete with microscopic motor oil - had formed a solid cake around the cooling fins. After removing the dirt, the fan spun back into life and the computer was once again rock-solid.

That is the definition of abused electronics.

Yes, in case you're wondering, I did recommend replacing the computer, but out in the back roads of Australia, that's easier said than done.

Story aside, I came to the conclusion that while abuse might reduce the circuit life from a millennium down to a century, that was unlikely to happen in my lifetime.

Back to the ex-military gear.

Based on Colin's comments, his historic radio, and my insights into the scale of abuse and their impact, I'm more inclined today than I was yesterday to investigate.

I will note that I'm spoilt for choice. I can pretty much buy off the shelf any gadget required, limited by my imagination and my budget, but that wasn't true for several of my amateur friends. I know of several modifications of aviation and military rigs, born from necessity, that eventually made it into amateur radio and come to think of it, there's not much difference from me adding a serial interface to my Commodore VIC 20 back in the 1980's.

Before I start shopping for radios that glow in the dark, there is another consideration. I did the same with computers over 20 years ago. I ended up with about a dozen of them in my office. Today that's replaced by a single one that runs as many virtual computers as I need.

In radio terms, do I fill my shack with boxes, or should I spend my efforts on getting an RF signal into a black box with SDR written on the side? It's hard to know what the differences are without seeing both sides of the equation, but I'm sure that at my next hamfest I'll be looking around with different coloured glasses.

Thank you to Colin VK2JCC for asking the question and showing his toys.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

VDSL interference

The RSGB report that in many areas of the UK, all of the HF amateur bands up to and including 20m are being blighted by interference from VDSL (Very high-speed Digital Subscriber Line).

This is the most widespread means of providing residential broadband internet services in the UK. Ofcom, which is responsible for investigating radio interference, says that it receives, on average, only six complaints per year on the topic and won’t take any significant action.

The RSGB urges all who are suffering from VDSL interference to submit complaints to Ofcom. Many have already submitted complaints to Ofcom but they would like yet more people to submit complaints. Ofcom has yet to be persuaded to take action.

https://rsgb.org/main/technical/emc/vdsl-interference-reporting/ 

Ham radio antennas proposed at East Vancouver home

A radio amateur in East Vancouver has applied for a permit to enhance a property with three ham radio antennas

The radio amateur has submitted the application under the name of Little Hippo Enterprises.

The Straight.com site says:

According to City Hall, the project will increase the height of the house at 439 East 54th Avenue by about 18 feet.

In a letter to the city, Little Hippo Enteprises wrote that amateur radio, which is commonly called ham radio, is useful during emergencies.

According to the applicant, amateur radio does not rely on the Internet and phone service.

If electricity goes down, Little Hippo Enterprises wrote that it can “shift over the main power to batteries or generator”.

“As of 1991 in Hong Kong, I have been a licensed Ham Radio operator, I brought this passion with me to Canada in 2000…,” the applicant wrote.

Little Hippo Enterprises explained that “antenna length is critical for any given frequency and it can be quite long”.

“I truly believe that amateur radio will have a lasting role in technical and cultural education for enthusiasts, as well as general public safety where means of alternative communication is needed,” the applicant stated.

Read the full story at
https://www.straight.com/news/alterations-proposed-at-east-vancouver-home-for-installation-of-amateur-radio-antennaes

How Radio Shaped The World

Eighty-one years ago, a broadcast of Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds supposedly caused mass hysteria in America, as listeners thought martians had invaded New Jersey.

There are varying accounts of the controversial incident, and it remains a topic of fascination, even today.

Back when Welles’s fictional martians attacked, broadcast radio was considered a state-of-the-art technology.

And since the first transatlantic radio signal was transmitted in 1901 by Guglielmo Marconi, radio has greatly innovated the way we communicate.

Dots and dashes

Before Marconi, German physicist Heinrich Hertz discovered and transmitted the first radio waves in 1886. Other individuals later developed technologies that could send radio waves across the seas.

At the start of the 20th century, Marconi’s system dominated radio wave-based media. Radio was called “wireless telegraphy” as it was considered a telegraph without the wires, and did what telegraphs had done globally since 1844.

Messages were sent in Morse code as dots and dashes from one point to another via radio waves. At the time, receiving radio required specialists to translate the dots and dashes into words.

The more refined technology underpinning broadcast radio was developed during the first world war, with “broadcast” referring to the use of radio waves to transmit audio from one point to many listeners.

This year, organised broadcast radio turns 100. These days it’s considered a basic technology, but that may be why it remains such a vital medium.

SOS: the Titanic sinks

By 1912, radio was used to run economies, empires and armed forces.

Its importance for shipping was obvious - battleships, merchant ships and passenger ships were all equipped with it. People had faith in technological progress and radio provided proof of how modern machines benefited humans.

However, the sinking of the Titanic that year caused a crisis in the world’s relationship with technology, by revealing its fallibility. Not even the newest technologies such as radio could avoid disaster.

Some argue radio use may have increased the ship’s death toll, as the Titanic’s radio was outdated and wasn’t intended to be used in an emergency. There were also accusations that amateur “ham radio” operators had hogged the bandwidth, adding to an already confusing and dire situation.

Nonetheless, the Titanic’s SOS signal managed to reach another ship, which led to the rescue of hundreds of passengers. Radio remains the go-to medium when disasters strike.

Making masts and networks

Broadcast radio got traction in the early 1920s and spread like a virus. Governments, companies and consumers started investing in the amazing new technology that brought the sounds of the world into the home.

Huge networks of transmitting towers and radio stations popped-up across continents, and factories churned out millions of radio receivers to meet demand.

Some countries started major public broadcasting networks, including the BBC.

Radio stations sought ways around regulations and, by the mid 1930s, some broadcasters were operating stations that generated up to 500,000 watts.

One Mexican station, XERA, could be heard in New Zealand.

Hearing the Hindenburg

On May 6, 1937, journalist Herbert Morrison was experimenting with recording news bulletins for radio when the Hindenburg airship burst into flames.

His famous commentary, “Oh the humanity”, is often mistaken for a live broadcast, but it was actually a recording.

Recording technologies such as transcription discs, and later magnetic tape and digital storage, revolutionised radio.

Broadcasts could now be stored and heard repeatedly at different places instead of disappearing into the ether.

Transistors and FM

In 1953 radios got smaller, as the first all transistor radio was built.

Transistor circuits replaced valves and made radios very cheap and portable.

Along with being portable, radio sound quality improved after the rise of FM broadcasting in the 1960s. While both FM and AM are effective ways to modulate carrier waves, FM (frequency modulation) offers better audio quality and less noise compared to AM (amplitude modulation).

Music on FM radio sounded as good as on a home stereo. Rock and roll and the revolutionary changes of the 1960s started to spread via the medium.

AM radio was reserved for talkback, news and sport.

Beeps in space

In 1957, radio experienced lift-off when the USSR launched the world’s first satellite.

Sputnik 1 didn’t do much other than broadcast a regular “beep” sound by radio.

But this still shocked the world, especially the USA, which didn’t think the USSR was so technologically advanced.

Sputnik’s beeps were propaganda heard all round the world, and they heralded the age of space exploration.

Today, radio is still used to communicate with astronauts and robots in space.

Radio astronomy, which uses radio waves, has also revealed a lot about the universe to astronomers.

Digital, and beyond

Meanwhile on Earth, radio stations continue to use the internet to extend their reach beyond that of analogue technologies.

Social media helps broadcasters generate and spread content, and digital editing tools have boosted the possibilities of what can be done with podcasts and radio documentaries.

The radio industry has learnt to use digital plenitude to the max, with broadcasters building archives and producing an endless flood of material beyond what they broadcast.

This year marks a century of organised broadcast radio around the world.

Media such as movies, television, the internet and podcasts were expected to sound its death knell. But radio embraces new technology. It survives, and advances.

FRIDAY EDITION: Pretty quiet on the 3843 splinter group driven away from Bobby's antics on 3919. What's going on? They have had problems with nets on either side of them at night making reception a problem....3927 and the Southern Bible thumpers led by Bruce were doing a bible study last night....If you are wearing a cloth mask to protect yourself from the virus, it is like putting up a chain link fence to stop mosquitos from coming into your yard...JCPENNY filing bankruptcy, CEO still gets 4.5 million dollar salary...THE GREAT GEOMAGNETIC STORM OF MAY 1921: 99 years ago this week, people around the world woke up to some unusual headlines....

French special event

Members of the French Radio Club APRA62 (F4KLR) will be active as TM18JUIN during the following dates in May (23-24th, 30-31st) and June (6-7th, 13-14th, 18-21st, 27th).

Activity is to commemorate General Charles de Gaulle's appeal to the French on the BBC (June 18th, 1940) to continue to resisting the German occupation, refuse defeat and to continue fighting with him in Great Britain, within the Free French Forces. All ops will be waiving white surender flags

ARRL Announces New Life 70+ Membership....if you join at 70, you would not break even until you were 85....what a deal!

The ARRL Board of Directors recently voted to create a special Life Membership opportunity for individuals who are at least 70 years old. Starting on June 1, the Life 70+ Membership will be available to individuals who have turned 70 and have a combined 25 years of paid annual ARRL membership.

Life 70+ Members receive all benefits of an annual membership, including their choice of print magazine delivery (QST or On the Air), and digital access to these publications, plus the digital versions of QEX and National Contest Journal (NCJ). In addition, each Life 70+ Member will receive a Life Member pin and a window decal and may purchase an exclusive Life Member plaque.

Qualifying members selecting this level of membership will enjoy the convenience of having to make a single payment for their entire tenure as an ARRL Member and not be subject to any future ARRL dues increase.

To apply for Life 70+ membership, individuals must complete the special Life 70+ Member application — available on June 1 — and submit proof of date of birth, if this information is not already on file with ARRL. The Life 70+ membership fee must be made in a single payment. Past membership dues payments will not apply toward Life 70+ Membership, but a credit will be applied for applicants who paid their dues in full between April 1 and May 31, 2020.

Life 70+ Membership Dues Rates

  • $750                US Life 70+ Membership
  • $750                International Digital Life 70+ Membership
  • $1,515             International Life 70+ Membership with a Print Subscription
  • $250                Family Life 70+ Membership as an add-on to a paid Life 70+ membership

ARRL reserves the right to change or substitute the benefits, products, or services associated with a member's original Life 70+ Member package at any time during the membership. Dues are non-refundable.

Life 70+ membership applications will be available for download beginning on June 1.

Zoom satellite talk now on YouTube

A video of the talk on amateur radio satellites, EME, Meteor scatter and the International Space Station by Robin Moseley G1MHU given via Zoom on Wednesday, May 13 is now available on YouTube

Watch G1MHU talk on satellites
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKjCXepCK_s

The talk was organised by the Denby Dale Amateur Radio Society, their next talk on Zoom will be by the Editor of Practical Wireless, Don Field G3XTT, at 7:30pm BST on Wednesday, May 20, Zoom meeting ID 278 609 9353

https://zoom.us/j/2786099353
http://www.ddars.net/

HuskySat-1 designated HuskySat-OSCAR 107 (HO-107)

On November 2, 2019, the HuskySat-1 CubeSat launched on the Cygnus
NG-12 mission from Wallops Island, Virginia, USA  

The satellite was constructed by the Husky Satellite Lab at the University of Washington, and utilizes an AMSAT-constructed radio system for primary communications.

Deployed from the Cygnus vehicle on January 31, 2020 after departing the ISS, HuskySat-1 began a 3-month educational mission. Upon completion of that mission, the satellite began operation of a V/u linear transponder in amateur service.

At the request of the Husky Satellite Lab and AMSAT teams, AMSAT hereby designates HuskySat-1 as HuskySat-OSCAR 107 (HO-107). We congratulate the Husky Satellite Lab, thank them for their contribution to the amateur satellite community, and wish them continued success on this and future projects.

73, Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA
AMSAT VP Operations / OSCAR Number Administrator

Sable Island DXpedition (October 17-26th)

Randy, N0TG, reports:
Hmmm..... Coronavirus Stay At Home and bored---looking for something to do?
Check out our Sable Island Dxpedition Web site (www.CY0dxpedition.net).

Check out the sponsors, maybe even become one, visit the team page to see who's who, and enjoy viewing the team's previous video Dxpedition to St. Paul Island ---2019--- you can even download it as MPG4 and share with
friends, clubs, etc. at:
http://cy0dxpedition.net/video-of-team-dxpedition--cy9c-2019.html

And, take the survey as to your Sable most needed band, mode, ATNO, etc.
Planning continues for OCTOBER 2020

New Facebook group to promote 40 MHz and 60 MHz activity

There has been an upsurge of interest of late in the the low VHF spectrum around 40 MHz and 60 MHz as radio amateurs in some countries have gained access to the experimental 8-metre and 5-metre bands.

Radio amateurs from Ireland, Lithuania, South Africa and Slovenia can currently transmit on the 40 MHz band while amateurs from several other European countries are interested in trying cross band experiments, usually from 10-metres or 6-metres.

In order to promote the sharing of information about equipment, antennas, propagation and tests, a new Facebook group has now been established and anyone with an interest in this part of the low VHF spectrum is welcome to join and contribute.

The group can be found at... https://www.facebook.com/groups/2897330140356898/

Amateur Radio Gearing Up for Predicted Above Average Atlantic Hurricane Season

Extended-range forecasts for the 2020 Atlantic Basin hurricane season anticipate above-normal activity, although a low-pressure system now off the coast of Florida could get a jump on things and develop into a subtropical depression or storm this weekend. The Atlantic hurricane season doesn’t start until June 1 and extends until November 30. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) 2020 outlook calls for a season about 140% more active than average, with four Category 3 to Category 5 hurricanes. The 2019 season saw three major hurricanes (out of six).

“The above-average prediction is largely due to the hot Atlantic and Caribbean waters and lack of a substantial El Niño in the Pacific,” the NHC explained, noting that the combination of a busy hurricane season and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could create a nightmare scenario for affected areas. FEMA and local emergency management agencies are already issuing COVID-19 guidelines for hurricane shelters, which include face masks and social distancing.

The NHC Annual Station Test — to check readiness of amateur radio stations and operators — takes place on Saturday, May 30, 1300 – 2100 UTC. The NHC’s WX4NHC will be on the air, marking its 40th year of public service at the NHC. Julio Ripoll, WD4R, the Assistant Amateur Radio Coordinator at the NHC, said the event offers an opportunity for radio amateurs worldwide to exercise the sorts of communications available during severe weather. “We will be making brief contacts on many frequencies and modes, exchanging signal reports and basic weather data — sunny, rain, temperature, etc.) with any station in any location,” Ripoll said.

Operation will be on HF, VHF, UHF, APRS, and Winlink. WX4NHC will center its activity on the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) frequencies of 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz, depending on propagation, but will operate elsewhere as conditions dictate. WX4NHC will also operate on the VoIP Hurricane Net from 2000 until 2100 UTC.



New England Hams you might run across 75 meters.........

K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
WB1ABC- Ari..Bought an amp and now we can here him on 75 meters, worships his wife, obsessed with Id'ing
N1BOW-Phil...Retired broadcast engineer, confused and gullible, cheap, only uses single ply toilet paper
KB1OWO- Larry...
Handsome Fellow ,only cuts lawn in August, plows snow the rest in Jackman, Maine
W1GEK- Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big motor home, electronics software engineer ...
AA1SB- Neil...Living large traveling the country with his girlfriend...loves CW
N1YX- Igor....peddles quality Russian keys, software engineer
K1BGH...Art.....Restores cars and radio gear, nice fella...
N1XW.....Mike-easy going, Harley riding kind of guy!
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna builder..
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
WS1D- Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
KB1VX- Barry- the picture says it all, he loves food!
KC1BBU- Bob....the Mud Duck from the Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of noise.
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat connoisseur,
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT

KA1BXB-Don....75 meter Regular......residing on the Cape of Cod, flying planes and playing radio
KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 

K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the ham fests
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired
Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long .

Silent Key K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
Silent Key
VA2GJB- Graham...one of the good 14313 guys back in the day.
Silent Key K1BHV- David...PITA
Silent Key W1JSH- Mort...Air Force man
Silent Key K1MAN--Glen....PITA
Silent KeyKB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
Silent KeyWB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired

Silent KeyWB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key
WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:
N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio....